Utah Jazz radio announcer David Locke commended his team for signing Rudy Gobert to a max extension and criticized tanking NBA teams.
One of the best known and commonly used tactics by NBA teams to snag undervalued talent is tanking. Tanking is essentially minimizing your chances of winning games, in order to maximize lottery chances of a high pick.
The NBA has taken steps in the recent past to curb such measures. The league office basically forced the Sixers to fire Sam Hinkie for getting it down to a science. They also modified the lottery odds in 2018 so that each of the bottom three teams now have the same odds of getting the no. 1 pick.
It is difficult for small market teams to garner free agents to their cities. LeBron James moved from Cleveland majorly for that reason too. There is not enough of a draw with places like New Orleans, Charlotte and Milwaukee.
What makes the Utah Jazz and Indiana Pacers special?
The Jazz and the Pacers are two of the teams that have almost never had to actively tank. The Pacers have only had one top-10 pick in the draft this century – Paul George, whom they drafted 10th. Despite being hamstrung this way, they’ve remained competitive and make the playoffs more often than not.
Locke praises this win-now, win-always approach by the Jazz, who succeeded in signing defensive bedrock Rudy Gobert to an extension. This will keep the Frenchman in Salt Lake City till the end of his prime.
“The biggest myth in the NBA is that you can just rebuild. Nearly 30% of the league has been really bad for an extended period of time and have had top draft picks and still stuck in mediocrity. When you have top level winning talent you have to pay them and keep them.”
The biggest myth in the NBA is that you can just rebuild. Nearly 30% of the league has been really bad for an extended period of time and have had top draft picks and still stuck in mediocrity. When you have top level winning talent you have to pay them and keep them.
— David Locke (@Lockedonsports) December 20, 2020